cartoon by marc johns.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Chipotle-Citrus Foil Baked Fish with Black Beans and Corn

This is an awesome recipe.  It is delicious and full of flavor, and you bake the fish with the side dish (corn and black beans) all at once in foil, so you don't even dirty many dishes!  Wrapping the fish in foil with the veggies underneath results in the fish being moist, tender, and sort of steamed.  It also allows all the yummy juices from the fish to get soaked into the veggies.  I think you can make many different flavor profiles with the same recipe concept - like maybe some lemon-dill fish with green beans wrapped in foil?  I will be trying other variations - and when one is good, I will post it up here.

This particular recipe works so well because the spiciness (although not too spicy) of the chipotle mixes wonderfully with the sweetness of the citrus and corn.  And the fresh taste of the cilantro only enhances everything.


4 skinless white fish fillets (any mild white fish is fine - I used tilapia), 6-8 oz. each, about 1-inch thick
salt and pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1-2 teaspoons minced chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (i minced mine with kitchen shears - much easier)
1 teaspoon grated orange zest 
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (16 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (16 oz.) can corn kernels, rinsed and drained
1/2 red onion, minced
2 scallions, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

To the cooking:
1.  Adjust your oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 450F.
2.  Pat the fish dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
3.  Zest the orange.
4. Using a fork, mix together the butter, 1 teaspoon of the chipotle, the orange zest, half of the garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.
Pre-mashed with fork.
Being mashed.
Close-up of final mixed butter.
5.  Chop the scallions, onions, and garlic.  Juice an orange.
Juicing the orange.
6.  Combine the beans, corn, scallions, and onion.
7.  Add 2 tablespoons of cilantro, the remaining chipotle, the remaining garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper to the veggies.
More things added to veggies.
8.  Add the orange juice to the veggies.
Orange Juice.
9.  Stir veggies to combine.
10.  Put about 1/4 of the veggie mixture in the center of a large square of foil.
On the foil.
11.  Put a fish fillet on top of the veggies.
Fish on Veggies.
12.  Smear about 1/4 of the butter mixture on the fillet.
Butter on Fish.
13.  Wrap the foil up into a bundle.  Make sure the corners are tight so nothing will spill out.

Fish bundle.
14.  Once you have completed all 4 fish bundles, place them on a cookie sheet and put them in the oven.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.  (If your fish is thicker, bake for longer.)  When done, carefully open up packets and sprinkle with remaining cilantro.  Makes 4-6 servings depending on the fillet sizes.  Enjoy!

Final product.
Recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen.

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